Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-19 06:13 PM
A first attempt by the nation’s top watchdog body failed last month in a tied five-against-five vote. Only last Saturday, the Ministry of Justice Prosecutorial Evaluation Committee ruled Huang should be sacked because he broke the confidentiality of a judicial investigation by revealing details about influence-peddling allegations against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to President Ma Ying-jeou.
The Control Yuan members who discussed the report about Huang with the case for impeachment against him Thursday afternoon concluded that it was not complete, leading to the member who had submitted the document to withdraw it, reports said.
The move did not rule out the possibility of a third attempt, according to media reports.
The Thursday meeting was the third turn of events in the Control Yuan’s treatment of the Huang case. After the first impeachment attempt failed, there was a second attempt on December 10, but not enough members showed up. The necessary minimum nine members were present on Thursday, but objections from an unspecified member led to the conclusion not to go ahead with a vote. The Control Yuan is not allowed to reveal details about impeachment votes to the public or to the media.
Huang has said he will only resign if the Control Yuan impeached him or if the Taipei District Court found him guilty. His fixed term ends next year, but calls for his resignation have come from all sides, including from some ruling Kuomintang lawmakers.
Critics have suggested that Control Yuan members were afraid of tackling Huang for fearing of missing reappointment by the president next year. The president names 29 members for the Control Yuan who then face approval in a vote by the Legislative Yuan.
Huang has been under fire since it became known he asked for a meeting with Ma on August 31 to discuss the allegations against Wang. The investigation was not officially rounded up until September 5, suggesting the prosecutor was violating its confidentiality. He claims he is innocent because the conclusions of the investigation were already clear by the time he talked to Ma.
Later on August 31, the president called in Premier Jiang Yi-huah and a top aide to discuss the allegations against Wang, and the next day he called Huang back for more details.
Jiang will be summoned to testify at Huang’s trial on December 27. It is not yet clear when the court will reach a verdict.
The case also triggered a power struggle between Ma and Wang, which has been toned down even though the legislative speaker was still continuing his case in court against the KMT’s revocation of his membership.
The investigation against Huang also included charges that prosecutors used illegal wiretaps on the Legislative Yuan in their action against Wang.